College students are often seen as the ultimate target audience for marketers. They are young, they are smart, and they are always looking for new things.
College students are also notoriously fickle. They change majors every year or two, and their tastes in music, movies, and TV shows constantly evolve.
But college students aren’t as simple as they seem. There are several challenges that marketing professionals face when targeting them. This article outlines some of the most significant issues and offers solutions.
When marketing to college students, what should you consider? Why are college students a good target market?
Businesses have targeted college students for a long time. New entrants into the desirable 18 to 30 age group haven’t formed brand loyalties yet. If your company can connect with this target audience, you stand a chance to continue to communicate with that group of people for many years to come as they graduate, begin careers, start families, and retire.
These past few years were tough, from a global pandemic to political demonstrations. Brands, universities, and student employers are developing new strategies for college student marketing as stay-at-home orders, and social distancing guidelines come into play.
So if your product or service targets students on college campuses, you need to start tweaking your marketing strategies.
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What is Student Marketing?
According to Wikipedia, student marketing promotes products, brands and ideas to the higher education student population. We realise student marketing through student media or ambient marketing on campuses.
Why College Student Marketing?
For years, advertisers have targeted college students. As new entrants into the Millenial and Generation Z demographic, these young minds are open to persuasion to become your student ambassadors and brand advocates.
But how can you compete with big brands out there who are targeting the same audience? Be passionate about helping students succeed! It would help if you were dedicated to providing the best college marketing. It would be best if you believed that every student deserves an opportunity to get to know about your brand.
The college student demographic can be tricky, but this article will explore ten tips that can help you market to the college student demographic.
What Is the Best Way to Advertise to College Students?
While they are growing older and wiser, they are still highly interested in pop culture and trendy fads. The relationship between their age and interest is a unique blend you must carefully cater to when designing your website or social media campaigns.
Here are some tips for marketing your website to college students. So if you target your website at college students, I encourage you to pay attention. The following ten tips will help you draw in the college crowd to your business.Social media is how college students communicate with their friends and family and keep up with current events and trends. Click To Tweet
1. Offer a Product or Service That Offers Quality, Classiness and Affordability.
The only “class” in a college student’s life involves lecturing…well, somewhat: Let’s face the facts; regarding money, many college students aren’t classy folk. They can’t afford extra luxuries, so whatever you are marketing to them must be affordable (if not free). However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in style and sophistication. They are usually very interested in these things, so you need to look to market a product or service that offers classiness at an affordable price. The college demographic has limited funds. So if you can offer a product or service that fits their low budget, your business will be an instant success with college students.
2. Create an Informative and Entertaining Video.
Include video in your marketing efforts. Create content that is relevant to them. YouTube and Netflix have become staples of student entertainment since cable TV can be expensive. Business owners should create short videos that can attract students to their websites. An informative and entertaining video is an effective tool for communicating with college students. Create how-to videos on topics that interest college students, e.g. college experience, dorm life, and tips for students with a physical disability, cognitive disability, or visual impairment. You could also provide information on how to study for and pass exams or survive on a shoestring allowance, campus activity, etc., and tie it into your product or service. Create a list of keywords that will attract them
3. Look for Opportunities to Speak and Sponsor Campus Events.
In addition, students aspiring to be business owners in the future will highly value your entrepreneurship expertise. So try speaking to college students and student organizations on a college campus, participating in special events, and presenting gifts at local colleges. It will allow you to talk about your product while you’re there.
Be aware that college students are different from other demographics. They have different needs and wants than any other demographic. You need to understand what they want and how they think. So don’t make assumptions about who your audience is. Your audience may not look like you do. Ask questions!
4. Trends are Highly Relevant.
If you want to remain relevant, your web design and content must stay trendy. This emphasis on trends means keeping up with current fashions, music, movies, television shows, etc. Like teenagers, college students are still wrapped up in popular culture and spend a lot of time learning about the newest of everything, so if your website doesn’t seem like a “cool” or “happening” place, you may lose your following. However, one crucial caveat is that college students are usually interested in a different popular culture.
5. Word of Mouth (WOM).
Word of mouth (WOM) is a powerful tool among students on college campuses. Search for influencers amongst the student body to promote your product/service or student discount to their circle of friends, social clubs and student organisations on campuses. Also, you can give away free samples of your products or services for promotions.Business owners should create short videos that can attract and engage students. Click To Tweet
6. Give Them the Best
Since they were born, this age group has been using the internet, so they expect a certain level of sophistication with websites. They are often more technologically educated than previous generations would expect, and that is because they have so much experience using computers and the internet. Unlike the generations before them, most college students today know the difference between a secure website and an unsecured one. They also know how to spot a poorly managed site and are pickier with website design, content, and page speed. This knowledge means you can forget about selling your “below market” textbooks on a cheaply designed site with no credit card security. They won’t fall for it.
7. Traditional Advertising
Are there any campus newspapers, magazines or radio stations? A substantial number of students may enjoy these media sources. Make sure your content is easy to read. Invest in ads in a college paper, direct mail, magazine or radio ads as part of your marketing campaign to reach current students. Many students are thrifty and love to get the best bang for their buck. So let your advertising opportunity in traditional media offer discounts to college students and part-time jobs and provide incentives to college students to encourage them to patronise your business. This tip works great if you’re in the food and entertainment business.
8. Social Media Is Key to Your Marketing Practice.
Use social media to market to college students. Learn about their social media preferences. Understand their needs. Social media has become a massive part of everyday life. If you don’t use it, your target market won’t know about your brand. So you need to create a social media account for your company and have a social media strategy as part of your overall marketing strategy.
College students spend a lot of time on social media sites like X (Twitter), Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook and Pinterest. Advertising on these social media platforms will help you reach students who love using social media.
Social media is how university students communicate with their friends and family and keep up with current events and trends. If your business’ website doesn’t have a presence on one or more social media platforms, you lose out on many free social media marketing opportunities. Create social media profiles for your business today, and place links to them on your homepage to encourage a following.
Are you worried about what type of content to post on social media? Don’t worry! Let your audience provide the bulk of your content. Focus on user-generated content that appeals to Generation Z.
9. Host a Contest for College Students.
Have you ever considered hosting a contest for students on campus? Would you mind taking advantage of your social media channels and asking students to create straightforward, light-hearted user-generated or humorous content?
Have fun! This is supposed to be enjoyable. For example, you can have students tweet or post pictures of themselves using your products and include your brand hashtags. It wouldn’t hurt to ask them to join your list as well! It is a great way to get new leads of potential customers.
10. “Back to School” Swag
The “back to school” season is ideal for putting together a branded “welcome pack” for new students on campuses. Give away free stuff. Your “welcome pack” can comprise tips on living away from home, adjusting to campus life, branded stationery or toiletries. This type of swag will help your brand score massive points with the student population. You can even include gift cards and discount cards to redeem at stores and entertainment spots on campus.Search for influencers amongst the student body to promote your product/service or student discount to their circle of friends, etc., on campuses. Click To Tweet
Why Are College Students a Good Target Market?
College students are an ideal target market for many businesses because they are young, energetic, and willing to try new things. They also tend to be very price-sensitive, so you need to offer them much discount to get their attention.
College students make such excellent targets because they are young adults still learning. As long as you provide quality services and products, this generation will always return for more.
They are easy to approach since they usually hang around campus during lunch hours, after classes, and go off to study halls. These times are ideal for reaching them and getting them interested in your product or service.
Students are very loyal to brands because they know they need to save money while studying. So, by offering them deals and special offers, they’ll remember you next time they want something similar.Focus on user-generated content that appeals to Millenials and Generation Z. Click To Tweet
You’ve got yourself a winner if you offer an exclusive deal to only those students who follow you on social media. By targeting students through social media, you can quickly gain followers and increase engagement rates.
In conclusion, marketing to college students requires a different approach than other demographics. You need to know what they like and how to reach them.
Do you need help with your digital marketing effort to the student market? Schedule a consultation session. Let’s explore options for making your brand a hit with college students and groom them into future customers.
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